Undergraduate Colloquium Spring 2011

Wednesdays at 5:00 p.m. in Jack Baskin Engineering Room 301A
Refreshments served at 4:45 p.m.
For further information please contact Professor Frank Bäuerle, bauerle@ucsc.edu.

April 6, 2011

Games Night: Ricochet Robots

Dr. Frank Bauerle, Continuing Lecturer, UCSC Mathematics Department 

This week we will be playing Ricochet Robots. The premise is as follows: four robots are scattered about a warehouse floor. There's only one problem: they have no brakes. Players must try to find a way to get one of the robots to a target location using walls and other robots as obstacles. Whoever can come up with the shortest solution wins a point. This game can literally be played by as many people as can crowd around the board!

April 13, 2011  **Note the extended time: 5pm-6:30pm**

Movie: Breaking the Code

Dr. Frank Bauerle, Continuing Lecturer, UCSC Mathematics Department 

Film Summary by the video library: The story of Alan Turing, British mathematical genius and designer of the computer that broke the German Enigma code during World War II, whose admittance to homosexuality at a time when it was illegal presented problems for him, for his family, for his colleagues, and for the State's preoccupation with national security.

April 20, 2011

Games Night: Twixt

Dr. Frank Bauerle, Lecturer, UCSC Mathematics Department 

Twixt is a two-player abstract strategy game and a member of the connection game family. The game is played as two players take turns placing their pegs in the game board, which is a grid of holes. After placing a peg, you may link one or more pairs of pegs on the board, which are all your own color. The first player to make a continuous chain of linked pieces connecting their two sides wins. TwixT, like chess, lends itself to strategic puzzles of the "White to win in four moves" variety. We will look at patterns as well as discuss strategies and tactics of this game.

April 27, 2011

Game Night: Jeopardy

Dr. Frank Bauerle, Lecturer, UCSC Mathematics Department 

This Undergraduate Colloquium will be the usual gathering in BE 301A on Wednesday afternoon at 4:45pm for tea/coffee/cakes/cookies, etc. and will be followed by a game of Jeopardy! from 5-6pm. The questions will be on various subjects (including of course lots of math). There might even be prizes! Hope to see you there!

May 4, 2011

Paradoxes that arise in the elementary treatment of fluid flow

Michael Nauenberg, Professor Emeritus, Department of Physics, UCSC 

In the 15th century Leonardo Da Vinci carried out some remarkable experiments that he illustrated by skillful drawings to demonstrate basic principles of fluid flow. 

In contrast, we teach only theoretical principles of fluid dynamics, while many of the experiments that support this theory are performed only in departments that teach hydraulic enginineering. The results of even simple experiments are surprising and found to be in disagreement with the elementary theory for the flow of fluids presented in standard textbooks. 

Furthermore, this theory gives rise to paradoxes which will be clarified in this talk.

May 11, 2011

Cal Teach and the Math Major -- with Pizza!

Gretchen Andreasen, Cal Teach Director and David DelMundo, Mathematics Department Undergraduate Program Advisor 

Do you have an interest in teaching as a career? 

If so, come find out how the Cal Teach program can help you explore teaching as a career, while at the same time satisfying some of your degree requirements. Cal Teach offers internships, advising, professional development, and teaching resources for math, science, and engineering majors who are interested in teaching at the middle or high school levels. All aspects of the program will be discussed, as well as how the Cal Teach internships can satisfy math degree requirements or education minor requirements (including the new STEM education minor). 

We'll have pizza for students who attend!

May 18, 2011

Games Night

Dr. Frank Bauerle, Lecturer, UCSC Mathematics Department 

This Wednesday, we will be hosting Games Night, where we will be playing a variety of Games, exploring new and different strategies. A few examples of some we may choose from are: For Sale, Pit, Ricochet Robots, Quoridor, and Set.

Hope to see you there for a little friendly competition!

May 25, 2011

Representations of the Symmetric Group

Scott Crofts (UCSC Visiting Math Professor) 

Representation Theory is the study of realizing abstract mathematical objects as collections of linear transformations on a fixed vector space. Often times these mathematical objects describe some type of symmetry and their representations thus provide concrete descriptions for this. In the theory of finite groups, the symmetric group is a sort of universal object, making its representation theory particularly important. 

In this talk I will define the symmetric group and describe the beautiful classification and construction of its irreducible representations. The only prerequisite is some basic linear algebra.

June 1, 2011

Bubble Show: The Mathematics of Bubbles and Soap Films, a Hands On Look. 

Tom Noddy & Tony Tromba